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Aikman, White head Hall of Fame nominees

CANTON, Ohio (Nov. 22, 2005) -- Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman and perennial All-Pro defensive end Reggie White head a list of 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The board of selectors chose them from a list of 112 preliminary nominees, the hall said. A list of 15 finalists will be announced in mid-January.

The class of 2006 will be determined at the selection committee's annual meeting Feb. 4 in Detroit, the day before the Super Bowl.

The list of 25 will be reduced by mail ballot to 13 modern-era candidates. The list will increase to 15 finalist nominees with the inclusion of the two recommended candidates of the hall's seniors committee.

This year, they are former Oakland Raiders coach John Madden, and former Cowboys tackle Rayfield Wright.

Aikman led the Cowboys to three Super Bowl victories and was selected to six straight Pro Bowls.

White, who died last December, finished second in career sacks with 198 and was a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. White, who spent 15 seasons with Philadelphia, Green Bay and Carolina, was elected to the Pro Bowl a record 13 straight times from 1986-98.

Other modern-era semifinalists are linebackers Harry Carson, Randy Gradishar and Derrick Thomas; center Dermontti Dawson; running back Thurman Thomas; wide receivers Michael Irvin, Andre Reed and Art Monk; defensive ends Fred Dean, Richard Dent, L.C. Greenwood and Claude Humphrey; quarterbacks Warren Moon and Ken Stabler; guards Russ Grimm and Bob Kuechenberg; offensive tackle Gary Zimmerman; cornerbacks Lester Hayes and Roger Wehrli; punter Ray Guy; club owners Art Modell and Ralph Wilson, Jr., and administrator George Young.

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